November 1, 2016

One last word

IT’S AN AUSPICIOUS DAY. This blog has just notched up a million page views since its inception on October 20, 2008. Actually 1,000,116 page views as I write this, according to my Blogger statistics page. More than 1,230 columns altogether.

My grateful thanks are due to you, my loyal readers.  I don’t know what makes you choose this blog from all the hundreds or thousands that now inhabit the boating blogosphere, although I have to admit it is unusual  in some ways. It appears three times a week. There are no ads flashing for your attention. There is no begging for beers. It’s  not larded with bling or eye candy for entertainment. It’s just for sensible people who love boats and who are content  to read plain words.

One strange thing I might mention is that  the name of the column is Mainly about Boats but nobody calls it that. It’s just known as John Vigor’s Blog, a name I wouldn’t have chosen myself because few people know how to pronounce Vigor. It’s not your fault, or even mine.  I wasn’t around when that pronunciation was first decided upon and passed down through the ages. For the record, it’s VIGH-gore. but I have learned to respond amiably to anything from VEE-gore to Vigger.

That millionth page view has come just in time. I fear I am about written out. Almost everything I know about boats has been discussed in this column, but I’ve always been concerned about being boring or appearing to be a know-all. Meanwhile, I am getting long in the tooth, so my thoughts now are turning toward quitting while the going is good; that is, before WikiLeaks releases my secret e-mails and I find myself accused  of sexting  pictures of boats rather than girls. 

How will you live without me, you ask? (Yes you did. I distinctly heard you.) Well, there are archives over there on the right, of course. More than twelve hundred columns preserved for posterity. Unfortunately, I have no idea how long posterity might be, according to Blogger. I’m sure they need the space for other bloggers, so if you want to riffle through the assembled collection, now’s your chance.

Once again,  my heartfelt gratitude to all of you who have accompanied me on my little blogging adventure over the years; and a special word of thanks to the billions of members of Vigor’s Silent Fan Club who have so faithfully kept their promise never to praise me. Your task will be much easier now.

Fair winds and good landfalls,

John V.

Cogito, ergo sum
Sum, ergo velo
Velo, ergo nutso


Unknown said...

Say it's not so. I can't imagine you don't have any nuggets of wisdom left for us. If it is the last word, then please accept my sincerest of gratitude. Thank you so much for all the writing, thinking, and pondering. Your voice will be missed.

Heads, I tell the truth... said...

Being new to boats and boat building, having just started 3 years ago,I have truly appreciated your insights and sideshows. Thanks John, and I sincerely hope your threats of leaving us wanting are merely today's whimsical tailpiece.

Unknown said...

John, I know it's the 1st of the month, but it's not April........

Mike K said...

Seriously John, say it isn't so! And if it is so, or is to be so soon, can we have a little of that threatened eye candy first? A little eye candy never went amiss. You won't get any complaints from this direction anyhow.

Anonymous said...


I've read everyone of your posts and enjoyed everyone, It's said to see you go.


Mike K said...

Seriously John? Say it isn't so! And if it is so, or is to be so soon, can we have some of that threatened eye candy first please? A little eye candy never went amiss. You won't get any complaints from this direction anyhow.

Jon said...

Let me be among the first to thank and congratulate you on your milestone. I've only recently found you and this news saddens me already!
Still I shall savour the archives as you suggest.

Thanks again, and all the best with your new found free time!


s/v iNTEGRITY said...

Thanks for the years John. Fair Winds.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Vigor, many thanks for your words of wisdom and entertaining articles over the years.

Although late to the party (2014), I appreciated your consistency - thrice weekly is demanding! I will savour the archives.

If you do continue writing in another capacity, please leave a forwarding URL for our reading pleasure.

All the best.

Unknown said...

Would like to promote your books at ... please have a look.

purestblue said...

Thank you so much for all the words, even the ones you've used more than once. They have been arranged so as to look pretty on the screen and communicate pleasurable images in the mind, even those strings of words that conjure fear or horror have guided the reader to pleasurable contemplation of their own short-comings.

If there be no more then I must be content with the archive. I thank you most warmly for The Black Box theory, I hold it to be true and I do my best to live by it.

I wish you many perfect sailing days that can be taken advantage of now you are no longer chained to the keyboard, and I am proud to remain a member of Vigor’s Silent Fan Club.


Justin C, by the sea.

Mike Benson said...

I feel a small twinge of guilt that through my readership I played a small hand in the undoing of Mainly About Boats. Even so I'm glad for all the reading over the years. Silent Fan Club membership should soar, with you stepping out of the spotlight. Thank you John for your imaginative musings on boats.

Captain Bill Podzon said...

Hello John. In the year 2000 I bought a Cal 20. Shortly after that, I found your book 20 small boats that will take you anywhere and was elated to see the cal 20 in list. I sailed my cal 20 for five years on SF Bay and then sailed her to San Diego with some stops in the channel islands. I moved back east and in 2000 bought an Albin Vega per your recommendation. Now based in Newport RI, I've sailed her many times to Florida and back. Thanks for the book and the blog John. Your mantras of seaworthiness, frugality and fun continue to be great inspiration. Fair winds.

Paul Mullings said...

How will I live without Last Thoughts and Tailpiece?....take a break by all means, but please don't go! :(

Barubi said...

The Silent Fan Club not only has a multitude of members, but we can be a bolshie mob. Without your continued thoughtful advice we will become rudderless and a potential danger to navigation.
I would appreciate even an occasional column, even if it was just an update of an earlier opinion.

Don P said...

Thank you for your blog. Thank you for your books. Thank you for your humour and humility. Most of all, thank you for your "black box" theory. Your years of work have been informative, inspirational and entertaining.
Fair winds shipmate.

Matt said...


Thanks for your blog... maybe carry on but without the three times a week part? That's a lot of writing!

bro dunn said...

Thanks so much for your efforts thru the years. I've always enjoyed your writing. Fair winds and smooth seas.

Anonymous said...

John . Thank you so much...I've read through all your archives and will certainly suffer through withdrawal not having your insight and wit three times a week.

Best and Fair Winds on your next journey!

John Schofield said...

The end of an era. Thanks for all the great advice, the humour and the anecdotes and most of all for the wonderful prose.
Fair winds!

Jez said...

I'm very sad to see the end of this column, but very grateful for all of the priceless stories and advice you shared. This and your books were of immense help to me as I entered the sailing world. Thank you!

Caleb said...

I was just reviewing your Black Box theory that I have always enjoyed.

You have nothing but gravitas coming from me for your literary efforts. I have enjoyed all the books you have penned.

Thanks for keeping this blog going as long as you have.

Anonymous said...

No, John, please don't stop tapping the keys here. It's not just the wisdoms you recall to our minds, it's the wonderful style in which you express them. Frankly, I don't mind how many times I read about tarred hemp or how to come alongside in an offshore wind, every time it will be a pleasure to read your carefully crafted wording. You're a poet, and you don't know it.

Greetings from Germany,

Anonymous said...

Hi John,
I don't want to sound too sappy but you will be missed dearly! I haven't read all the other thousands of blogs out there you mentioned but why would I when I've already stumbled on the best! Like everyone else who has commented I've grown to enjoy your humor and all your writing in general. Thanks for sharing with us for so long. Please feel free to 'freelance' a new post every now and then!

Project Infinito said...

Thank you for everything, John. I hope you enjoy your well-deserved rest after a career of inspiring and informing boat people everywhere. I am starting a project to renew an old sailboat and sail her around, and much of what I've learned from you has come in handy.

Cheers to you.

project page:

Anonymous said...

Cheers John. Thank you.

Guido Scott said...

I've enjoyed reading your blog for many years now. Thank you for all the humor. Thank you fro all the advice, many times given tongue-in-cheek but nevertheless right on spot. We are keeping that black box full and, as a result, have had a run of good luck.
Scott and Connie on S/V Traveler

Lazybones said...

Dear Mr. VIGH-gor, it has come to the "blogosphere's" attention that you wish to withdraw all wisdom and humour from the world. Unfortunately this request has been refused at this time. We understand this may be due to becoming bored (or boring) and so we are willing to reduce the requirement for your brilliance from "three times a bloody week!" to "oh, I just had a great idea".

We hope that this will satisfy all concerned.

Yours sincerely, Joe Bloggs.

Drew Frye said...

Plain words, but so nicely chosen. That makes a difference.

Thank you.

William Serjeant said...

It's a sad day John. We'll all miss your wonderful homilies. It'll be lonely out there sailing without you. Thank you for informing and entertaining us over the years.


Bob said...

Sorry to hear you are putting down your pen (hanging up your keyboard?). Thanks for all the great posts.

Fair winds.


Eric said...

I waited as long as I could before I commented.
Get off your ass guppy and latch onto that sheet!
Honestly, You have sailed your last passage, and that should be respected by all.
Nothing needs to ever be said about the world ever again that your opinion could make any difference about.
You are right to check out. Nothing you have to say will ever matter.
Heck, only 30 people have anything to say about you never saying another word.
Even with a million visits and 2500 posts, only 30 even know you exist, and care to comment about you leaving.
You are right, your effort here was only for your own satisfaction, and it was less than you had expected.
I hope you are a faithful Christian because otherwise, your entire life could have been wasted while believing, or not, in something that means nothing. Just like every word you typed on this site.
Take care of you.

Unknown said...

Just finished reading Small Boat To Freedom. Truly great story and wonderfully told! It inspires me to get busy on our project boat, so we can splash her this coming summer. Hopefully I haven't stumbled upon your blog to late and you can continue sharing for our reading enjoyments!

Regards, Ray

aeroporto, por favor said...

I am heartbroken to have found your blog just as you conclude it's journey. However, I am pleased that you have left so much wisdom on these pages. I have a stack of your books and a pile of articles in my arsenal. Thank you so much for it all.

Paul Thompson said...

I am researching for an article on the twist rig having successfully crossed the Atlantic last year in my Contessa 32 using one, which was a dream. Do you have any information. I am trying to source the original article by Hugh Barkla in Yachting Monthly and have your chapter in 'The Seaworthy...' Many thanks. Paul Thompson.

John Vigor said...


The original article of Barkla's appeared in Yachting World, May 1971.
Perhaps they could dig out a copy for you.
John V.

Unknown said...

Still nothing. John, I'm starting to think this quitting thing may be for real. I very much miss you're blog. Hope all is well. Mark and Anna. S/V Second Wind.

John Vigor said...

Thanks Mark and Anna for your kind thoughts. But I don't think I have anything more to contribute so yes, this quitting thing probably is for real. It hasn't hurt so far, so it will likely continue. Good luck to you and yours, and fair weather for Second Wind.
John V. said...

I live on Vashon and it sounds like you live in Bellingham. I just started reading your book about Twenty Small Sailboats...I'm left scratching my head because you selected the expensive Dana 24 and subpar Catalina 27 to bracket expense and capability but omitted the Pacific Seacraft Orion 27. My now years of research shows me the travesty that this boat design is not finally fully celebrated. You even chose the PS25, a boat in person that I found woefully short in the creature comfort of room. How can I hear from you about this? Is it just too late to hear it from you? I hope that you can share your thoughts one more time.

SavannahDuck said...

Hi John, I just read your last entry and this seems like a nice place to thank you for your contribution to the sailing world and my little microcorner of it. Your 20 Small Boats and your posts on the CapeDory Board were central to my winding-up in a CD330. Common sense, good nature and some insight go a long way with me. So thanks. I stopped by your blog today intending to ask what you thought of my proposed "boat name modification": Savannah to Savannah Duck. The "modification" seems to defy the logic of the established name change dogma, don't ya think? I am pretty confident that any gods whom I might offend, I have already offended, so I will go it alone. Hope you are well and that you get out on the water from time to time. You are well remembered.